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South Texas


Sacred Heart School in Rockport opens the door to

NEW HORIZONS W W W . S O U T H T E X A S C A T H O L I C . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 17


VOL. 52 NO. 4


Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Correspondents Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Beth Wilson, Dayna Mazzei Worchel

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Sacred Heart School in Rockport has been using Chromebooks since December 2016. According to the school’s principal, the response from both teachers and students alike, has been remarkable. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic


John Ahlers, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland, always liked growing things. About 30 years ago he began growing roses. He learned more than just how to grow roses. Soon he was making rosaries with the fragrant, colorful beads that came from rose petals in his garden. He did not begin with the thought of using it to evangelize, but that is what happened. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic


NEWS BRIEFS 4 VIEWPOINTS 28 Bishop names director of Family, Our communion and our witness to the world

VOCATIONS 7 Celibacy as a gift: A perspective from St. John Paul II

Life Office

NATIONAL NEWS 30 Corpus Christi program inspired

Austin food trucks serving homeless

CATÓLICA 20 VIDA Proceso de V Encuentro

VATICAN 35 The Cross is more than jewelry,

EDUCATION 23 CATHOLIC Chromebooks open new world

FAITH 36 OUR The Church’s contribution to our

continua en la diócesis

to Sacred Heart students

it is a call to love

having the Bible

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April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Our communion and our witness to the world Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

here is a thought in many sectors today that places an unhealthy emphasis on change. This mentality, more often than not, urges us to chase after the latest fads—whether it be in clothes, electronic or media gadgets, but also in ideology, political correctness or way of life. The allure is to be “with it” and “up with the times.” Everything seems to be about a supposed progress or moving forward as if the more “new” something is, the better it is and the better we are. The ironic thing is that this mentality itself is nothing new. Today’s fads quickly become tomorrow’s out-of-date trends, and we are on to pursue something new. When we live our lives in such a way, we risk losing the very core of what’s happening around us and the very core of what and who we are as individual sons and daughters of God and as a community of the Body of Christ. Our calling as Christians is not to adapt ourselves to the mentality of the world, but to have the mind of Christ in this day and age, in every day and age in which we find ourselves. Our calling is to be Jesus Christ, to be His Body the Church, in the midst of the world, to be leaven, to be salt, to be his light (cf. Mt 5:13-16) to a world that seems to be endlessly chasing after fads in an attempt to find itself, only to lose itself. We cannot be the bedrock of Christ to the world nor bring Christ’s hope if we lose our identity as his sons and daughters, failing to live according to the Christian character that was imprinted upon us in our baptism. A theologian who lived around the time of the Second Vatican Council observed that the number one problem for atheists is Christians. By this, he meant that those who proclaim Christ with their mouths but deny him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable. The world entices us with a self-centeredness that seeks to place “I” or “me” at the center of all. It is what “I” want; “I” am the standard; it is

4  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

what makes “me” feel good. However, in our Christian identity, rooted in the mysterious inner life of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we discover that we are made for communion with God and with others. When we turn to the Sacred Scriptures, we see, most especially in the Acts of the Apostles, that this is how the Church began. The Apostles and the early Christians were of one mind, one heart, one faith, one baptism (cf. Acts 2:42-47; Eph 4:5). They listened to God’s word together, they broke bread together, they served the poor together, and they worshiped and prayed together. As a community of the Body of Christ, this is how they witnessed to the world. In the same way, our strength will always be found in Christ and His Body the Church, as we are called to be a Church of communion. We are a people of communion because we reflect the very life of God in the Holy Trinity who is an eternal communion of love that is shared with us. In fact, this is what our Lord explicitly prayed for on the night before His death—“that they may all be one even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (Jn 17:21).” At the beginning of the New Millennium, St. John Paul II called for a “spirituality of communion” of the whole Church saying that when we are formed, whether as priests or laity, in parishes and dioceses, and especially in families, we are to be formed not in a worldly spirit of individualism but in a spirit of communion with each other and with God. We are called not to be the rough and tough spiritual individualist that try to evangelize ourselves or the world by ourselves. We are called to be the Body of Christ to the world, not a spiritual “Lone Ranger” to the world. Our strength has always been and will always be Jesus Christ and our unity with him and thus with each other. Ironically, in chasing after all the latest

world, we must be the ones who bring the divine into the secular culture and bring the secular culture to the divine. To be a “mystic” is to be so in communion with God—and thus with each other in the Body of Christ—that we are able to open up the graces and treasures of the love of God to others who do not know him and to help usher others into this same love in a compelling, compassionate way. Receiving, meditating on, and living the Word of God, praising God in, with, and as the Body of Christ in the world—this is how the Catholic Christian of today and tomorrow will be a “mystic” for the world, or we will be not at all and will soon be indistinguishable from the rest of society. And so we must examine ourselves and ask ourselves whether we, our families, our parishes, our diocese and our lives as the Church are in line with this. Do we

champion different ideologies in the Church or are we of one mind, one heart, one baptism in Christ and the teachings of the Church? Can we say good-bye (and good riddance!) to narcissism and individualism? Can we commit ourselves to the care of others before our own selfishness? Can we humble ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus Christ in union with one another? That is the Catholicism that we see in the early Church. That is the Catholicism that Christ and the Apostles taught and died for. That is the Catholicism that is present at the best moments of our history. May we be united in the mind and heart of Christ so much that our communion through him with the Trinity and with each other can shine so brightly that the world cannot help but notice and give glory to God. Sententia in Christo vobis!

Headlines from ✝ Bookmark our Web site to keep up to date on all the happenings in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

• St. Elizabeth mission will explore topic, ‘Why be Catholic?’ March 19-23 • St. Francis of Assisi comes alive in stage play • St. Michael the Archangel youth perform community service during Spring Break

• Good Friday collection to benefit the Holy Land • Order of Secular Franciscans seeking to organize in diocese • Bishop issues dispensation for the memorial of St. Patrick • The Ark gets new playhouse • Persons with special needs celebrate Ash Wednesday

• 2017 Paradise Island Gala supports schools’ educational initiatives fund • IWA Announces National Merit Scholar Finalist and Commended Scholars • Three disciplines of Lent represented in religion class • Students created Piñata Math Project April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  5


technological developments of our age, which should present unprecedented opportunities to build and strengthen communication and communion with each other, these very same things further divide and alienate us from each other. We have the power to communicate instantly with friends and acquaintances halfway around the world yet we become isolated from the person sitting next to us. We are able to carry on multiple electronic conversations yet ignore the persons we are with, perhaps even at the same dinner table. How then do we recover a true communion with God and with each other? The same theologian mentioned above observed that in the post-Christian, post-modern world of today, the Christian of the future must be a mystic or he or she will not exist all. In other words, to be truly a Christian in today’s secular

Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse The Diocese of Corpus Christi at the recommendation of the Diocesan Finance Council and Presbyteral Council has furthered their commitment to good stewardship and financial accountability on behalf of generous donors by instituting a financial abuse hotline. The Diocese of Corpus Christi has selected an independent third party, The Network, to provide you with a new way to anonymously and confidentially report financial abuse and fraud. Employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors and other interested parties are encouraged to report concerns they have regarding financial misconduct within the Diocese of Corpus Christi. All inquiries will be treated promptly and discreetly. Callers will have the right to remain anonymous. Call 1-877-571-9748

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The Vocation Office is sponsoring an essay contest in celebration of WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

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Rules and Submission of the Essay Essay is to include: Student’s complete name, Address, Contact Number, email (if possible), Age, Grade, School attending and Parish. Winners will be announced on May 7, 2017 CATEGORY 1: ELEMENTARY STUDENTS (1ST GRADE TO 5TH GRADE) Up to 250 words typed and doubled space.


CATEGORY 2: MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS (6TH GRADE TO 8TH GRADE) Up to 500 words typed and doubled space. CATEGORY 3: HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS (9TH TO 12TH GRADE) Up to 700 words typed and doubled space.




HEALING RETREATS at Our Lady of Corpus Christi

"And behold,


“This retreat helped me rediscover who I am, it has brought me loser to God and sharpened my senses. I have a better understanding of different incidences and experiences that troubled me in the past. I seem to hear the Lord more clearly”


-January 2017 Healing Retreat Participant

REGISTER FOR A HEALING RETREAT at or c all 361.289.9095 ext 32 1 04. April Ad 2017.indd 1

6  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

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Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Celibacy as a gift: A perspective from St. John Paul II Father Joseph Lopez



think I’d love being a (priest/ brother/ sister), but I would have a hard time being celibate.” That is a thought most priests and religious likely have at some point in their discernment process. Celibacy is the one universal roadblock to a person considering a priestly or religious life. Those who have this concern should read St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” The sainted pope offers the perfect solution. If this is an overwhelming read, there are other sources that can break the topic down to a more simple explanation. On the web, is a good source. In print, consider Christopher West’s book “Theology of the Body for Beginners: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Sexual Revolution.” Celibacy is a gift from God to his chosen few to help them understand their call to the Kingdom of Heaven. Selected thoughts from Pope John Paul II’s audience talks in March 1982 provide a good understanding of why God calls priests and religious to be celibate. Pope John Paul II points out that one cannot live a celibate vocation without being chosen by God and given the gift of his grace. This is good news! If you are called to a priestly or religious vocation, God will grant you the grace needed for an abundant, joyful, celibate life.

“Those able ‘to receive it’ are those ‘to whom it has been given’,” the pope said. These words point out the importance of personal choice and also the importance of the particular grace, that is, of the gift which man receives to make such a choice. “It may be said that the choice of continence for the kingdom of heaven is a charismatic orientation toward that eschatological state in which men ‘neither marry nor are given in marriage’,” Pope John Paul II said. He goes on to say that by accepting man’s efforts, God crowns his work by giving a new grace. From the start, this aspiration is his gift. “Being anxious how to please God” is man’s contribution in the dialogue of salvation begun by God. All of us who live our Christian faith take part in this conversation. St. Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians that a man obliged by the marriage promise ‘is divided’ (1 Cor 7:34) because of his obligations to the family (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Conversely, it evidently follows that a person not bound by marriage possesses an interior integration, a unification that allows him or her to dedicate his or her life entirely to the service of the Kingdom of God in all its dimensions. This presupposes abstaining from marriage, to singularly dedicating oneself in service to the Kingdom of God. April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  7



All former parishioners and alumni of St. Theresa’s parish and school are invited to join us for Mass and lunch beginning at 10 a.m. PLEASE RSVP TO (361) 289-2759 BY APRIL 10 SO WE CAN SEND YOU YOUR TICKET

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Sister Angeles attributes her vocation to a miracle from God Mary Cottingham

D South Texas Catholic

octors told the parents of Angeles Berrozpe that their daughter would never be healthy. They said her heart was the size of a baby’s heart and she would be sick for most of her short life. Angeles was born in northeast Spain to José and Katalina Zabalo Berrozpe. She had one brother and a sister. The family moved to Madrid when little Angeles was three-years-old to avoid the long winters that aggravated her already poor health. Her parents were devout Catholics, they went to Mass regularly and Angeles attended Catholic school with the Salesian Sisters as her teachers. When Angeles was in her teens and very ill, her boyfriend gave her a book to read from the Catholic library in Madrid. The book made such an impression on her that she broke up with him and felt that her heart was moved to follow God. She met with the Mother General of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, located just a block from where she lived in Madrid and was told she could not become a nun. The Mother General told her she had to be healthy to live in a convent. She said that in 1954, at the age of 17, “God made me a miracle.” She had to endure physical exams every six months of her life, complete with X-rays and blood work. She remembered one time the doctor was angry with her mother for some reason. He told her that she would have to do the exam all over again. Apparently the doctor did not believe the test

results since he had previously told Angeles’ mother her daughter would never be healthy. After another set of X-rays and blood work yielded the same results, the doctor was astonished. “You are healthy. Your heart is normal, your blood is normal–everything is normal,” he told her. Immediately Angeles asked the doctor to write a letter for her explaining her current good health. It was very difficult for him, but he did and she took it to the Mother General. “I said, ‘mother, I think now you can take me in the convent’.” She entered the convent as a postulant on Feb. 2, 1955. She made her first profession on Feb. 2, 1957, Her perpetual vows on July 2, 1963 and one month later her destination was America. “I came like a tourist not a citizen–like a visitor,” Sister Angeles said. It took three years for her residency status to be cleared. In the meantime, she was assigned to the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary for a year and was put in charge of laundry. With her residency still up in the air, she was reassigned to El Paso, then Uvalde for two years, all the while hoping to get her residency. While waiting for her papers she worked in parishes and taught religious education to youth and adults. She was also in charge of youth groups. After one year in Uvalde she finally received her papers. “It took almost the three years to get my residency,” she said. Sister Angeles worked in Laredo, Brownsville and then back to Corpus Christi for six years, once again working at the Minor Seminary. She has been superior general

Sister Angeles Berrozpe, MJMJ for Mount Thabor Convent and has taught Catechism and CCD to adults. She has worked with youth and adults at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Corpus Christi. She was also assigned to Alice, Benavides, Calallen and El Paso (again), teaching Catechism in parishes. She returned to Corpus Christi four years ago. Currently she teaches Catechism at Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Parish and on Saturdays she visits with the children from The Ark. Once upon a time Sister Angeles was given a dire diagnosis, but on Feb. 2 of this year she celebrated 60-years of living a consecrated life. She was surrounded by her sisters from Mount Thabor Convent, friends from Our Lady of Guadalupe and Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Parish. April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Vocation is a dedication; it’s more than what we do Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

ister Milagros Tormo, MJMJ is the third of five children born to Antonio and Diodora Abad Tormo in Madrid, Spain. They were devoted parents who—though poor in material things—were rich in faith and strong in family values. “I didn’t know we were poor. I had a great childhood,” Sister Milagros said. Her mother was very creative. In winter, the family had no heat for their house, so her mother—using a funnel—filled empty wine bottles with boiling hot water to heat up their beds at night. “You had to be more than poor not to have wine at the dinner table,” Sister Milagros said. The mother rolled the bottles back and forth across each of their beds and one by one she tucked them in. Then, when the last child was tucked in, she rolled each bottle up in a towel and placed one in each of their beds. The children felt warm all night long, Sister Milagros said. “My father was a great musician. He could play nine instruments and had been blind since he was 12-years-old,” she said. “There were very little opportunities for blind people, but he worked where he could, sometimes working three jobs in one day. In the morning he sold pharmacy products, in the afternoon he sold lottery tickets and at night he played background music in a restaurant, still managing to teach his children how to read and write.” Her mother appointed the child who had done all their chores, or who had finished all their homework, to walk their father to the subway. This did not make sense to 10-year-old Milagros, who thought that no one would want to finish first. Sister Milagros’ mother explained it this 10  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

way, “He puts all his trust in you. You are going to cross the street with no cars coming; you have to tell him where the sidewalk is and that he needs to put his feet up. To do that he has to trust you or he falls down. It’s a great responsibility.” Her family was very active in the Church. One day, Sister Milagros and some girls from her parish went to meet the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their convent and clinic. Seeing the happiness in the faces of the young sisters is what first attracted Sister Milagros to a life serving God. It was 1959 and she was 13-years-old. She watched the sisters as they tended to the sick and dying. She watched junior nuns dress the bodies of the dead, and she prayed with them. She was amazed these young women could be happy far from their families. When she told her mother she wanted to be a sister in consecrated life, she remembers her mother—who was in the kitchen at the time—telling her that she honored the family. “But I want to tell you that if one day you feel that you cannot do it, be brave and leave the congregation. Don’t be a bad testimony for the Church,” her mother said. Her father told her that their door would always be open for her. At the age of 19 she joined the sisters as a postulant and left her family. She spent a year in Aravaca, Spain then four years back in Madrid, close to her family. It was not easy. The convent house had a deck where she studied and could often see her family pass by. They waved, but she was not allowed to wave back. Her little sister pestered her when they walked down the street. Sister Milagros made her First Profession

Sister Milagros Tormo, MJMJ

on June 18, 1967. Her mother attended all her celebrations and continued to write to her until her death in 1977. In 1971, Sister Milagros was sent to the United States. Her first assignment was in El Paso. Six months later she was working with Msgr. Robert Freeman for Catholic Charities in Corpus Christi. She went to rural areas like Mathis, Sinton and Kingsville. She asked the parish priests which families needed help, she determined what their needs were, made an assessment of each family and reported back to Msgr. Freeman. “The majority of the time they didn’t have money to pay an electric bill, make a car payment or maybe they needed to see a doctor,” she said. “I had the pleasure to work with Msgr. Freeman for many, many years,” she said. In between working with Msgr. Freeman, Sister Milagros was assigned to Corpus


Christi Minor Seminary, then to Laredo doing pastoral work with youth from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Holy Family Mission. She returned to Corpus Christi and became Emergency Aid Director, then Executive Director of Catholic Charities. Meanwhile in Madrid, Mother Dolores Domingo, the foundress of the congregation, asked her to be the superior of Mount Thabor Convent and she has been superior off and on for many years. “It’s a service, a big responsibility,” she said. In 1971, the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph started a weekend prevention program called “New Life” for girls and “Turnaround” for boys. The sisters provided food, shelter and aid for troubled youth. Delma Trejo, a nine-year veteran volunteer and administrator of the prevention programs felt youth needed more—a program not limited to weekends. With the support of Msgr. Freeman and

Bishop Rene Gracida, the congregation’s council established a new program that offered services 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. The Diocese of Corpus Christi deeded five acres of land for the project, which was named “The Ark.” In the beginning the sisters housed 13 children (ages six-17) and the youth lived in their retreat house. “We had a philosophy to not build without funds. We had the property, but no building,” Sister Milagros said. In 2002, they were able to open the main building. It could accommodate 37 children—from infants to 17-years-old. Today, the Ark is licensed by the State of Texas for 61 children. Presently, there are 33 children living at The Ark, with the oldest being six-years-old. They usually house 30-40 youth and are always in need of funds. To learn more about The Ark go to “Vocation is a dedication. It’s more than

what we do. Anybody can be a social worker. It’s a commitment with the Lord—a big responsibility. Milagros Tormo is nothing; I represent the congregation. I have to be careful how I talk and how I act. I have to remember this 24-hours-a-day. To say ‘yes’ to the Lord and have the Lord affect me is a privilege. He called me, and yes I responded, but he chose me!” She says she has never felt like quitting. “I’m convinced the Lord is never going to ask me to do more than what I can do. I take God with me wherever I go,” Sister Milagros said. To others considering a vocation to religious life she says, “You have to be brave— I’m never going to be able to repay God for all he has given me.” Sister Milagros will celebrate her golden jubilee in Madrid in June, then in September at Mount Thabor Convent in Corpus Christi.

After 63 years, Mt. Carmel Home is getting a complete makeover, and you can be a part of it! Check out our plans at and share your input by entering the password CARMEL. You’re also invited to stop by the Mt. Carmel Home today to pick up a prayer card to St. Joseph for the success of these efforts.


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April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  11

John Ahlers, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland, displays the first rosary he made using rose petals for beads. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic 12  South Texas Catholic | April 2017


A Rosary by any other bead Pat Kerwin

F Contributor

or as long as he can remember, John Ahlers always liked growing things—like vegetable gardens. Every spring he looked forward to getting his hands into the soil. There was a lot of satisfaction in connecting with the earth and watching the plentiful harvest it produced. About 30 or so years ago he began to think about growing something else—roses. “It has been said that God writes straight with crooked lines. Sometimes we cannot know how one aspect of our life will impact another except in hindsight. But, in time and with reflection, we connect the dots of our life journey and see how God has used our story for his good purpose, or so it seems as I reflect on my own life,” Ahlers said. Roses had a special attraction for him— the look, the smell and just the word “rose” itself had a special meaning. He decided to join the Rose Society to learn everything about show roses. “I wanted to show them myself,” he said. “Some roses are known for their beauty and some for their fragrance. There are numerous varieties: grand floras, floribundas, hybrid teas, miniatures, climbing roses and more.” It took time to learn how to prepare beds, select the bushes, plant, nourish and nurture them; it was a lot of work, but he loved it. In time he had about 50 bushes. “I loved not simply showing them, but sharing them with others. For over 15 years, everybody I knew would be supplied

with their beauty and fragrance,” Ahlers said. He learned more than just how to grow roses. Sister Brigid O’Neill from Incarnate Word Academy showed him how to make rosary beads from rose petals. Soon he was making rosaries with the fragrant, colorful beads that came from rose petals in his garden. “I tried to select just the right crucifix and medal to complete each rosary. I gave most of them to family members over the years, but I still have the very first rosary I made,” he said. About two years ago a member of the garden club in Portland asked him if he would give a talk on growing roses. At first he said no, but then after a little more thought he agreed to do it. “I had an idea. I told them that I would talk on roses for a while, then I would talk on something else, and they agreed,” he said. When the day for the meeting came, Ahlers met with about 12 women from the garden club and discussed what he knew about growing roses. “They didn’t know what else I was going to discuss. The other topic I had in mind was about how to make roses into rosaries and the history and meaning of the rosary. I soon learned that all of the women in the group were Protestant and this was something very new to them,” Ahlers said. “The women’s eyes got big when I showed them one of the rose petal rosaries I had made. Some asked if they could touch it. I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ Most of them had never touched a rosary before. Soon it became clear that they were more interested in the

rosary than in the roses.” Ahlers told them the word rosary came from the word rose; that it literally means “a garland or crown of roses.’’ He explained how the rosary was a system to count prayers; they had never heard of this. “They came to understand the deeper meaning of the rosary as I explained the praying of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and meditation on the mysteries of our Lord’s life through this beautiful prayer in honor of his Blessed Mother,” Ahlers said. “I was evangelizing! I could see it in their eyes and actions. They wanted to know more.” As he thought about other experiences in his life, Ahlers recognized that he had this calling early on. “I’ve had many hobbies that I tried to connect with Christ. I never thought of myself as evangelizing specifically, but perhaps that is exactly what I was doing. I was sharing the Good News with others to help them come closer to God on their own life journey,” he said. He said he never began a hobby with the thought of using it to evangelize. Only now does he appreciate the old saying that “sometimes God writes straight with crooked lines.” “No one expected a garden club meeting to become a catechesis on the Rosary, but it truly was a vehicle for bringing the beautiful prayer of the Rosary to others,” he said. How will God use your gifts to touch others? Sometimes only time will tell. April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  13


Program helps people from becoming homeless Shannette Hoelscher



oe is unemployed, but his wife and children receive Supplemental Security Income, a Federal income supplement program designed to help people who have little or no income meet basic needs, such as, food, clothing and shelter. Joe does not contribute any money to the family unit, but instead he takes his wife and kids’ weekly SSI allowances. Alfonso was recently living at Good Samaritan Mission. He cashed his weekly check and went to the Mother Teresa Shelter where—almost immediately—the homeless there knew he had money and “asked to borrow” some. His money was quickly gone. The names in these situations are fictitious but the situations described are very real. They are the types of circumstances that the staff with the Representative Payee Program of Catholic Charities encounters often. The program was established in 1971 to provide assistance to the most vulnerable members of the community; the young, the

elderly and the disabled who are unable to manage their SSA, SSI or VA benefits, in most cases due to exploitation as described above. The Representative Payee Program operates within Social Security Administration guidelines and is funded by the clients themselves; they are usually required by Social Security to enroll in the program. By becoming the “representative payee”, Catholic Charities assumes their financial management responsibilities. But what does this really mean? It means that Catholic Charities sets up a monthly budget based on the client’s income and bills to help ensure the client has shelter, clothing and the essentials. Once the budget is established, based on the client’s income and expenses, then the Representative Payee Program staff pays their rent, phone, utilities, insurance, medication, etc. Whatever monies are left over is divided into weekly checks that are sent to the clients for their “pocket money”. But there really is more to it than just paying bills. There is also the human side.

Most clients in the program are referred by agencies, such as Social Security Administration, Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, Mother Teresa Shelter, Good Samaritan and Behavior Health Center of Nueces County as well as by other Catholic Charities departments. Many clients do not have anyone to help them, sometimes they just need someone to listen, said Elsa Ortiz, Payee Program Director. “Giving our clients peace of mind, making them worry-free about paying their bills is our job,” Ortiz said. “The program lends itself to a positive outcome, if clients give it a chance, it keeps them from becoming homeless.” Most of the program’s clients are from 30–65-years-of-age. However, some clients are families with children under 18, and some are senior citizens in debt, homeless or just in need of assistance in managing their benefits. In a typical month, the Payee Program has 120 clients and processes some 2,000 checks, both in client income and in payments made on the clients’ behalf.

❝ We are preventing approximately 125 people a month from being homeless, having their power or utilities disconnected or being exploited. ❞

– Elsa Ortiz, Representative Payee Program Director 14  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

Elsa Ortiz, Representative Payee Program Director at Catholic Charities, explains program requirements to client. Contributed photo


Most clients referred to the program live in Nueces County, but the program also serves clients within the 12-county area within the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Ortiz and Johanna Swetish staff the Payee Program and a volunteer accountant helps with bank statements. Ortiz and Swetish have been with the program at Catholic Charities for almost seven years. “It is a great, great program. We help people. That’s what keeps us going,” Swetish said. “We take pride in what we do,” Ortiz said. “We are preventing approximately 125 people a month from being homeless, having their power or utilities disconnected or being exploited. Through the Payee Program, we know they are being taken care of and that their monthly benefit check is being used properly and will last them throughout the month.” Currently the program is accepting elderly clients on Social Security or with Veteran’s benefits. It is open to accepting clients of all ages. Client consultations are by appointment, Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. To setup an appointment, call (361) 336-1023.

Representative Payee Johanna Swetish at Catholic Charities goes over budget with client. Contributed photo

Proudly supports the work of the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Department of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. 16  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

proudly supports the work of the Representative Payee Program of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi.


Diocese issues clarion call for Advocacy Network


avid Campa, Chief of Staff/General Counsel for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, announced at the Fullness of Truth Conference in March the diocese’s plans to organize a Catholic advocacy network in the diocese. “This is important for a lot of reasons,” Campa said. “Oftentimes in legislation you have an opportunity to do things that really helps us Catholics advance what we need to be doing in the world.” The Texas Catholic Conference, the voice of Texas bishops, already organized a Texas Catholic Network—a grassroots program that enables the more than seven million Catholics from across Texas to communicate with each other and the members of the Texas Legislature. This work is carried out through

Texas Catholic Network “Archangels” Program, a network of volunteers who help inform parishioners about the legislative agenda and encourage them to communicate with lawmakers about legislation that supports our faith and Catholic social teaching. “A lot of people don’t know that the Catholic Church has advocacy groups and a lot of time we don’t know about it,” Campa said. “Legislators would like to hear from local people. If we’re not reaching out to our legislators locally than we can’t have an affect on what is going to happen.” Texas bishops will host an Advocacy Day on the South Steps of the Capitol at noon on Thursday, April 4. Campa said the Diocese of Corpus Christi is organizing buses that will take local Catholics to Austin to meet with legislators and talk with them

Texas bishops will return to the South Steps of the Capitol on April 4 for the annual Catholic Advocacy Day. Archived photo

April 2017 |   South Texas Catholic  17


“about the issues that matter to us.” All Texas bishops will be at the Advocacy Day as will people from all the other dioceses in Texas. Catholic delegations will go to the Capitol and meet their Legislative delegations in their offices. Campa said the Advocacy Day will be an opportunity for Catholics to urge support for issues important to the Church, including pro-life issues, education, children and families, the poor and vulnerable, criminal justice and immigration.

Protecting Human Life

The Catholic Church teaches that human life is intrinsically valuable and should be protected from conception to natural death; including the calls to end abortion, prevent euthanasia, stop the destruction of human embryos and oppose cloning. Among the legislative issues being discussed in Austin, which need support from the Catholic faithful, are support state funding to abortion alternative providers and banning research using fetal tissue acquired from abortions. Other important pro-life issues include opposing all public funding to abortion providers, including funds for contraceptives; supporting the protection and improvement of air, land and water quality in Texas; supporting efforts to reform the statute governing end-of-life care to involve patients, families and physicians in protecting life and dignity, while preserving ethical standards of care; and supporting programs to encourage adoption and to assist families with parenting support.

Children and Families

The Catholic Church is also supporting legislation that promotes strong, stable and healthy families. It recognizes parents as the primary educators of children and supports the freedom of parents to choose a school for their children with a safe, productive learning environment and rejects the notion that a parent’s address and income level should determine a child’s educational or child care opportunities. The Church is promoting legislation on the permanency of marriage between one man and one woman; abstinence-only education in Texas schools; conscience protection legislation to ensure that charities have the religious liberty protection to fulfill their mission without violating deeply held religious beliefs related to the life and dignity of the human person and traditional family structures; school choice tax credit scholarships to provide

educational choices for families; Texas public school students’ receipt of in-state college tuition and financial aid; foster care system improvements, especially related to children aging out of foster care; increased recruitment, formation and support for foster care families; and quality, affordable before- and after-school care for public and private students.

Health and Human Services

The Church believes that health care is essential for the proper development of life and that justice demands that medical and behavioral health care be easily available for all. Particular care must be offered to those who have special needs because of age, addiction, physical or mental disability. The Church is supporting legislation for the improvement to Texas’ critical public health safety net, especially expanding opportunities for acquiring health insurance, including expanding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; access to basic and preventative health care for low income uninsured women, as well as prenatal and pediatric care for children; and care for persons who are aging, live with disabilities or need mental health services.

Justice for Immigrants

Catholics derive special concern for the immigrant from the many Biblical accounts of immigration. The Catholic Church supports immigration reform that is merciful, charitable and compassionate to immigrants working for a better life, while

Msgr. Tom McGettrick’s, pocket-sized books are must reads. English only Books 1 & 2

Bilingual Books 1 & 2

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

18  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources

“I Love You, A Chat with Jesus” & “Do You Love Me, Another Chat with Jesus” Pick up your copies at the Chancery Office: 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi or call (361) 693-6605 and reserve your copies now!

also recognizing the legitimate responsibility of the Federal government to maintain control of our nation’s borders. The Church supports comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to citizenship; opposes efforts to compel local and state agencies to enforce federal immigration laws; oppose efforts to reduce access to education and healthcare for immigrants; oppose efforts that hinder immigrants’ ability to get Texas drivers’ licenses and IDs or birth certificates for immigrants’ citizen children; support care for unaccompanied minors and reunite families separated by migration; supports alternatives to family detention of migrants and refugees; and supports continued state and Federal cooperation with refugee resettlement.

Protecting The Poor and Vulnerable

The Catholic Church has always served the poor and the vulnerable by providing services and advocating for the public good. In difficult economic times, those unable to help themselves are in particular need of society’s compassion. The Church calls on state leaders to craft a balanced approach to addressing the social and economic needs, including adequately funding essential public services.

Catholics are called to support access to safe and affordable housing, water and power for low-income Texans; regulatory standards for payday and auto-title lending to curb usurious lending practices and prevent a cycle of consumer debt; safe and dignified working conditions, adequate training, and fair compensation for workers; policies to alleviate food insecurity and hunger, including expanded access to summer nutrition programs, school breakfast projects, and nutritional awareness; and efforts to end human trafficking and provide care for victims.

Criminal Justice

The Church believes that society should be just and compassionate, committed to ensuring the safety and protection of our communities while encouraging the merciful forgiveness and rehabilitation of criminal offenders. The Church supports reform to the state’s criminal justice system that ends the death penalty and that provides for the compassionate treatment of prisoners and encourages rehabilitation and forgiveness for those re-entering society. Anyone interested in participating in the diocese’s Advocacy Network can email Campa at

David Campa, Chief of Staff/General Counsel for the Diocese of Corpus Christi makes presentation at Fullness of Truth Conference on establishing an Advocacy Network in the diocese. He also urged participants to attend the Advocacy Day in Austin on April 4. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

April 2017 |   South Texas Catholic  19

El equipo V Encuentro de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi incluye, en la fila de atrás de izquierda, Jaime Reyna, Padre Fernando Gámez, Kathy Cedillo, Judith Martínez, Rosario Alvarado, Germanía Hosking, Elda Olvera, Romelia Torres, Leslie Brown y Padre Julián Cabrera. Sentados en la primera fila son Juan Carlos Angulo, José Escobedo, Irma Escobedo y María Pacheco. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Proceso de V Encuen Luisa Scolari

E Corresponsal

l V (Cinco) Encuentro es un proceso de evangelización y reflexión que dura cuatro años de intensa actividad de consulta para identificar las mejores practicas ministeriales para atender a la creciente población hispana. Es un proceso que incluye varias etapas, siendo la primera la de la formación y capacitación del equipo diocesano. El equipo de la diócesis de Corpus Christi se reunió a sesionar a fines de Febrero en las instalaciones de la Cancillería de la diócesis. Durante la reunión se analizaron los avances y la visión teológica y pastoral de este proceso. También se analizo la importancia de la juventud y la responsabilidad de la familia hispana católica como formadora de estos jóvenes. Con esta sesión el

20  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

equipo diocesano da por terminado su entrenamiento para dar paso a la siguiente etapa. El esfuerzo continua con la formación de grupos parroquiales, integrados por 10 personas que serán elegidos por el párroco y coordinados y capacitados por el equipo diocesano. En este equipo se buscara incluir representantes de los diferentes grupos de feligreses como el de jóvenes, mujeres, hombres, matrimonios, congregaciones religiosas, escuelas católicas, etc. El Padre Julián Cabrera, director del Ministerio Hispano de la Diócesis estará en contacto con las diferentes parroquias para informar, supervisar y orientar personalmente a los párrocos y seguir de cerca el proceso. El Padre Cabrera izo una visita con los párrocos de Beeville y Refugio el 27 de Marzo en la Parroquia de Our Lady of Victory


ntro continua en la diócesis en Beeville, donde animo la organización de equipos parroquiales. Durante el pasado evento de Fullness of Truth celebrado en el American Bank Center, el Padre Cabrera atendió personalmente en modulo del V Encuentro del Ministerio Hispano a todas las personas que se acercaban manifestando interés, respondiendo a sus preguntas y aclarando sus dudas. En este modulo de información se entregaba un folleto en donde contiene la pregunta: ¿“QUE ES EL V ENCUENTRO”? La respuesta es siguiente: “Es un proceso de evangelización, comunión y consulta que genera información para una pastoral que responda mas creativamente

a la presencia hispana en la Iglesia y promueve la integración eclesial de todas las comunidades. Conecta a la comunidad hispana local con una iniciativa nacional. Genera y forma nuevos agentes pastorales como discípulos misioneros. Revitaliza la fe de los feligreses invitándolos a la actividad misionera. Aumenta participación en la vida litúrgica y ministerial. Aumenta la corresponsabilidad. Los grupos parroquiales organizaran reuniones con la congregación de fieles de su parroquia para analizar los puntos, carencias y necesidades que sientan que deban ser atendidos por la Iglesia Católica

de los Estados Unidos para poder ayudar y atender la evangelización y el crecimiento en la fe de los hispanos nacidos en los Estados Unidos, o inmigrantes pero que viven en Estados Unidos. Es un proceso de evangelización y reflexión que dura cuatro años de intensa actividad de consulta para identificar las mejores practicas ministeriales para atender a la creciente población hispana. Toda la información recaudada será presentada y entregada en el encuentro parroquial, para ser analizada y clasificada por el equipo diocesano que a su vez lo entregara para su análisis en la Celebración Episcopal Regional de Encuentros que se celebrara durante el primer semestre April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  21


de 2018. Por fin el documento se presentara en el V Encuentro María Pacheco revisa el programa V Encuentro en proyector con Nacional, con la participación de 3,000 delegados de las diferentes miembros del equipo diocesano. diócesis y arquidiócesis del país en el Hotel Gaylord Texan en Luisa Scolari para el Grapevine, Texas. South Texas Catholic Durante el primer semestre del 2019 se evaluaran las consultas del proceso y en el segundo semestre del 2019 se llevara a cabo el desarrollo y distribución de los procesos y recursos derivados del V Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Hispana. Por ultimo, durante el año de 2020, se entregaran las recomendaciones y recursos Corpus Christi, al (361) 664-0437, en donde le atenderán y lo relacionados con el V Encuentro a todas las parroquias del país. pondrán en contacto con la persona que pueda brindarle toda Si esta interesado en participar en este proceso, no dude en la información que necesite. También puede visitar el siguiente llamar a la oficina del Ministerio Hispano de la Diócesis de sitio en Internet: Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero

Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 693-6686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata. 22  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero.

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748


Chromebooks open new world to Sacred Heart students Rebecca Esparza

T Correspondent

en-year-old Carson Bhakta has always known life with technology. He recalls using tablets and cell phones since he was a small child and feels comfortable using all types of computers. So when Sacred Heart School in Rockport rolled out Chromebooks back in

December of last year for their schoolchildren, Bhakta was thrilled. “I love technology. Using the Chromebooks during class is much better than just sitting there listening. We’re having fun while learning and I love it,” he said. Kathy Barnes, principal at Sacred Heart, said the Chromebooks offer a great variety of learning

Students in Rosemary Zamorano’s fourth grade class at Sacred Heart School in Rockport, Addison Kopp, 10, and Roman Mayes, 9, use their Chromebook to write a creative writing essay during class recently. Administrators recently purchased the computers to assist students with their classwork. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

April 2017 | South Texas Catholic  23

possibilities, are easy to use and fit their students’ needs. A Chromebook is a laptop device primarily designed for use while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing in “the cloud”. The cloud is Internet-based computing that makes data available to other devices on demand. Chromebooks have become popular with 24  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

educators because of its convenience, ease of use and relatively low cost. “Our mission statement drives our programs at Sacred Heart, which means we work to provide our students a quality education through opportunities to know, love and serve God and his creation. We believe we must expose our students to the amazing array of beauty and wonders of our world

outside of their familiar surroundings,” she said. Barnes added that it is important that educators not only help the students learn, but also lead them to explore, and teach them to know and follow Jesus. Using the Chromebooks assists teachers in attaining those goals. Last year, the school—with grants

Fifth grade students in Kerry Shaw’s class at Sacred Heart School in Rockport use Chromebooks to assist with math studies during a recent class. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

provided by local foundations—purchased 26 Chromebooks for the entire school. They also purchased a mobile storage unit that houses and charges the computers and takes them from classroom to classroom throughout the school. Depending on the success of this first batch of Chromebooks, more could be purchased in the future, the principal said.

“We love our kids and want them to be ready for the next step in their education. If we can put a Chromebook in their hands now, maybe that will plant a seed of curiosity in their being a lifelong love of learning in their minds, and an eternal love of our Creator in their hearts,” Barnes said. Emma Johns, a fifth grader at Sacred

Heart, said she relates better to her classwork using the Chromebooks. “It’s better to use these in class for our schoolwork because it feels like we are learning more. I’m able to check my work and ask better questions during class because I have the Chromebook. I also understand my work better, so I’m thankful to use them,” she said. The computers are not only used for daily lessons, but also for hands-on learning in the classroom and from interactive virtual labs included in today’s textbooks. “We’re solving math problems in the Cloud, helping the children with their reading comprehension skills and helping our students become better readers,” Barnes said. “Using apps and websites from textbook publishers allows each student to solve problems in ways that give them a learning experience that is fun and exciting but also productive while allowing the individual learner to work at his own pace.” Since each student needs a Google account to access the Chromebooks, Barnes noted Internet safety classes are held at the school on a regular basis. She also recommended parents be aware of their children’s interactions online and noted is a useful resource for educators and parents to keep children safe with their exposure to media technology. Someday Barnes hopes to use the computers to communicate via Skype with schoolchildren in Guatemala. “We want to give our kids real-world examples of how their charitable works are affecting others globally. We also want to encourage them to get a good education so they can get out and see the world someday,” Barnes said. Sacred Heart School serves 155 students from three-years of age up to fifth grade. Barnes said response from both teachers and students alike, has been remarkable. “We want our children to be ready for the next step in their education. These Chromebooks certainly beat the old chalkboard and paper tablet!” she said. April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  25

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April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Bishop names director of Family, Life Office

Beth Nguyen

Bishop Michael Mulvey has named Beth Nguyen as the Director of Family Life and Respect Life Office in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. She will assume her post on Monday, April 3. The office exists to aid parishes in meeting the family needs of their parishioners. To this end, training and education is provided in the areas of marriage preparation, marriage and family enrichment, natural family planning, parenting education and ministry to the divorced, separated and widowed and their children. The office also serves as advocate for a family perspective in all ministries and provides education and leadership training for schools,

parish organizations and other groups, which seek to improve their understanding of today’s family realities. The office also promotes awareness of human life issues and the teachings of the Church on those issues. It helps coordinate all human life activities within the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and advises and recommends diocesan policy on human life issues. Nguyen, who is currently serving as the Communication Specialist for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, has a Master of Theological Studies from the Institute for Pastoral Theology at Ave Maria University, in Ave Maria, Florida.

Diocese announces Vocation Essay Contest The Vocation Office of the Diocese of Corpus Christi is conducting a Vocation Essay Contest in celebration of World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The contest is open to all Catholic students and all students attending a Catholic School in the diocese. The essay subject is “What Saint would you have dinner with? What would the conversation be like?” April 21 is the deadline for submitting essays and winners will be announced May 7. Students can enter one of three categories, including elementary students

(first grade to fifth grade); middle school students (sixth grade to eighth grade; high school students (ninth to 12th grade). There will be one winner for each category. The winners will receive a pizza party. If the winner attends a Catholic school, pizza will be provided to their English or Theology class. If the winner is does not attend a Catholic school, the winner can invite 10 friends for the pizza party. For more information contact Rachel Dimas at by April 21.

DA Gonzalez asks bishop to bless his office

Bishop Michael Mulvey, District Attorney Mark Gonzalez and staff of the DA’s office gathered for a blessing by the bishop on March 21. Marty Wind for the South Texas Catholic 28  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

At the invitation and request of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez, Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed the offices of the District Attorney on March 21. In his blessing, Bishop Mulvey emphasized the office’s vital role in promoting a just and peaceful society and called upon the graces of the Holy Spirit to guide all who pursue justice, regardless of background or creed. Gonzalez, who is Catholic, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times “I think we can all use a little spiritual guidance.” According to the newspaper, “It was an unprecedented request…A bishop hasn’t gone to bless the district attorney’s office that anyone present from the diocese or the prosecutor’s office could recall.”

On Good Friday, April 14, parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi will take up a pontifical collection to support ministries and works in the Holy Land, largely under the direction of the Franciscans. The Pontifical Good Friday Collection provides humanitarian aid to Christians and others who have been disrupted by the war in Syria. “Presently, there are millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, where the roar of arms

does not cease and the way of dialogue and concord seems to be completely lost,” Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, recently said. The Pontifical Good Friday Collection supports parishes, Catholic schools and religious education in the Holy Land. It also preserves the sacred shrines for pilgrims and provides assistance, including housing and food for the poor and needy.

Bishop-elect Kihneman ordination rescheduled for Friday, April 28 The Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Bishop-elect Louis F. Kihneman III as the Fourth Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi has been rescheduled for Friday, April 28, at 2 p.m. at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Biloxi, 870 Howard Avenue. Vespers will be held on Thursday, April

27, at 7pm. Pope Francis named Msgr. Louis Kihneman to serve as the fourth Bishop of Biloxi on Dec. 16, 2016 and Bishop-elect Kihneman’s ordination and installation was originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 17, but had to be postponed due to health reasons.

Bishop-elect Louis F. Kihneman III

KJT gives to seminarian education, priest and religious retirement The Catholic Union of Texas, The KJT, presented Bishop Michael Mulvey with two checks on Tuesday, March 21: one check for the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Seminary

Education Fund and a second check for the Priests and Religious Retirement Fund. KJT stands for “Katolická Jednotá Texaská” which means Catholic Union of Texas in the Czech language. KJT is a non-profit fraternal benefit society organized and founded in 1889 with 88 societies across the state and almost 18,000 members.

Rosalie Bohuslav, president of KJT and Ellen Zdansky, state director of KJT presented checks to Bishop Mulvey on March 21. Adel Rivera, South Texas Catholic April 2017 | South Texas Catholic  29


Good Friday collection to benefit the Holy Land


Austin Mobile Loaves and Fishes gives food to homeless man. Margaret Licarione for Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Corpus Christi program inspired Austin food trucks serving homeless Mary Rezac


Catholic News Agency

ustin, Texas, like any hipster city worth its organic, non-GMO salt, is known for its food trucks. There are about 1,000 food trucks that roam the streets of the Texas capital, 30  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

offering barbecue, breakfast tacos and gourmet grilled cheese to the masses of Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling millennials who have recently flocked to the city. Among them is, and before them, there was Alan Graham and Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is a Christian

non-profit founded by Graham and five other men that delivers about 1,200 meals and essentials from 12 food trucks to homeless people on the streets of Austin every night. The ministry also recently started a village called “Community First!”, a place

Socks and Popsicles

Flake, who met Graham through the men’s group at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, was poorly educated and illiterate, but understood the Gospel like no one Graham had ever met. He had experienced chronic homelessness throughout his life, and became a key tour guide for Graham and his crew, who were “clueless” about life on the streets as they began their ministry.

During one meeting, the group had discussed how great it would be if they could get phone cards (pre-cellphone times) to hand out to the homeless whom they met. “Houston looked at us and said, ‘that is the dumbest idea on the face of the planet. They don’t need phone cards. No one wants to talk to them. They don’t want to talk to anybody. You need to put socks on that truck’,” Graham recalled. To this day, socks are the most desired item on the trucks. Flake also took Graham out to his “conference room” to meet some of the homeless who were his friends. It changed Graham’s whole perspective on the population he was about to serve. Not long after Mobile Loaves and Fishes began, Flake was diagnosed with bladder cancer and given mere weeks to live. For his dying wish, he did not want to travel or eat a fancy steak dinner—he wanted to deliver 400 Popsicles to homeless children on a hot summer day, a treat those kids rarely experienced. “He wanted them to choose ‘Pink? Red? Blue? Purple? Green?’ He wanted to give that which they did not need but might want. He wanted to give them abundance in fruity, tasty, frozen form,” Graham wrote. That philosophy carried over to the food trucks. The people they serve are given options—PB&J, ham and cheese or tacos; milk, coffee or orange juice; oranges or apples. It is a shift from the scarcity mentality found in soup kitchens founded in the Great Depression, to an abundance mentality that is possible in the most abundant country in the world, Graham said. They are “the little bitty choices that people who live a life in extreme poverty don’t get to make often.”

The solution is not just housing

Since the first truck run, the ministry quickly grew. Hungry people chased down the food trucks as they saw them making their way through the streets of Austin. The ministry has now expanded to the cities of San Antonio; Providence, Rhode Island; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. To date, Mobile Loaves & Fishes has served more than four million meals, and with more than 18,000 volunteers, it is the largest prepared feeding program to the homeless and working poor in Austin.

But it did not stop there. A little more than five years into the ministry, Graham envisioned an “RV park on steroids”, with the philosophy of “housing first”, which holds that the homeless need housing before they can solve any of their other problems. However, Graham knew that mere houses were not enough. What these people need and desire, like everyone, is to be known and loved—they needed community. He envisioned a place where people lived together, knew and cared for each other, sharing kitchens and gardens and conversation. “It developed from this idea back in 2004, where we went out and bought a gently used RV and lifted one guy off the streets into a privately owned RV park,” he said. Because of zoning laws and other issues, it took a while to get the idea off the ground, but the “Community First! Village” project finally broke ground in 2014. Today, 110 people, most of them formerly homeless, call the village home. Soon, there will be enough housing for 250 people. There are brightly colored tiny homes that give HG-TV a run for their money, as well as recreational vehicles and “canvas-sided” homes (sturdy tents with concrete foundations). The homes provide the basics—they are essentially bedrooms—while everything else is communal. There is a communal kitchen, garden, bonfire and places everywhere to sit and have a conversation. “It’s all centered on Genesis 2:15,” Graham said. “Just after God created the Garden of Eden, he took the man, and centered him in the garden to cultivate and care for it. And so the foundation for our entire philosophy of the community is centered on God’s original plan for us, to be settled, to be at peace with each other, to live in community, to be cultivating with the gifts that he has given us and to serve him by caring for each other.”

What needs to change

The solution to homelessness, Graham said, is not going to be found in new government policies or agencies, but rather in Christians and other people who choose to take care of each other. “I believe it’s like the old African adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” Graham said. “We have to step in, the village April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  31


where the formerly homeless, volunteers and those desiring a simpler life live together in a village of tiny homes and recreational vehicles in what Graham calls “an RV park on steroids.” In his newly released book “Welcome Homeless”, Graham recalls the story and the people behind his ministries, in his raw, straight-shooting and often humorous voice. In October 1996, Graham, a convert to Catholicism, had gone hesitantly on a men’s retreat. At first, he was counting down the hours until the “hugs and hand-holding” were over. The retreat was too emotional for his then-very intellectual faith. But by the end, he experienced a profound change of heart and adopted a philosophy of “just say yes.” Several yeses and a couple of years later, Graham and his wife Tricia found themselves having coffee with a friend who was telling them about an initiative in Corpus Christi called Loaves & Fishes where multiple churches—including the Corpus Christi Cathedral, First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church— pooled their resources to provide food for the homeless on cold winter nights. An entrepreneur at heart, Graham immediately envisioned a catering truck that could deliver meals to the homeless. This was before the food truck boom; at the time, Graham called them “roach coaches”. “I woke up the next morning knowing we could franchise it, and bring it to every church, every city and every state to feed the homeless,” he recalls in his book. “This is how entrepreneurs think: one truck becomes a thousand.” Through his church group, he recruited six more men to join him and invest in a food truck for the homeless. They started calling themselves “The Six Pack”. One of these men, Houston Flake, turned out to be an especially key player.


should step in and care for its own. What we’re doing right now is abdicating that responsibility to our government, which…tries to resolve this issue transactionally, but I believe it’s a relationship issue. Our Kingdom desire is to be wanted by each other, not ‘if you buy me a house I’m going to be happy.’ That’s not where our happiness comes from.” One of the foundational goals of the ministry is to change the stereotypes that people have about the homeless, so that they are seen as brothers and sisters rather than as other, Graham said. He recommended that anyone who wants to help the homeless start building relationships with them—say hello, ask their name, shake their hand and give them a sandwich or a gift card to Chick-Fil-A. And then find an organization to volunteer with in your city. “There’s a giant stereotype around the homeless, and we’re very good as Americans at stereotyping, and so the homeless population (is projected) to be drug addicts, mentally ill, criminals; they’re usually depicted as unkempt or that they don’t pay attention to hygiene, so we develop these preconceived notions that won’t even allow us to roll down our windows anymore to say ‘Hello’ or ‘God Bless,’” he said. “Those things just aren’t true,” Graham said. “We have five major corporate goals, and goal number one is to transform the paradigm of how people view the stereotype of the homeless. When we change that paradigm, it changes our culture so as to be able to go and love on our brothers and sisters,” he said. That is one of his hopes for the book, and the reason he made sure to tell the stories of so many homeless men and women who have directly touched his life. “What we want to do is spread the kingdom message of a better way to love our neighbors, so I’m hoping the book will go broad and deep, and people will be inspired to go out there and begin doing what it is that we’re doing, that’s what I hope,” Graham said. Because “what’s happening here in Austin, Texas is nothing short of a miracle.” 32  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

President touts school choice in visit to Florida Catholic school Kevin Jones


Catholic News Agency

resident Donald Trump visited a Florida Catholic school in March and praised the Catholic education system and touted his support for school choice programs. “You understand how much your students benefit from full education, one that enriches both the mind and the soul. That’s a good combination,” the president told Bishop John Noonan of Orlando at St. Andrew Catholic School. He toured the pre-K-8th grade school, located in Orlando’s Pine Hills neighborhood, and spoke with students and visited a fourth grade class. President Trump responded to a girl who told him she wanted to own her own business, saying “She is gonna make a lot of money, but don’t run for politics.” His tour was followed by public comment session attended by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Bishop Noonan and various Catholic school officials. There, President Trump reflected on

the contributions of Catholic education. “St. Andrew’s Catholic school represents one of the many parochial schools dedicated to the education of some of our nation’s most disadvantaged children, but they’re becoming just the opposite very rapidly through education and with the help of the school choice programs,” he said. He praised the school principal, Latrina Peters-Gipson, for her work, saying, “The love of what you do is really fantastic.” The visit marked the president’s first official trip to a school since he took office. According to the Washington Post, about 300 of the school’s 350 students are beneficiaries of a Florida tax credit program that funds scholarships for families with limited resources. Henry Fortier, superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Orlando, said the visit was an “exciting opportunity to share the good news and the work that we do.” He said school choice has also been an important part of his career in previous administrative roles in the archdioceses of New York and Baltimore.


“I know that there’s a lot of controversy about school choice for parents and lots of people have different opinions, but I see it as a partnership,” Fortier said. “It’s not a situation of us versus them, it’s a situation of us providing opportunities to our parents so that they have the right to choose an education that is appropriate for their children. “It shouldn’t be for just the wealthy that can afford it,” he said, lamenting that many working class families do not have the opportunity to choose the education for their children. He said 25 percent of students in the Diocese of Orlando are in the state of Florida’s Step Up tax credit scholarship program. Of those 25 percent, 727 graduated in 2016, a graduation rate of 100 percent with a 99 percent placement in college or the military. The superintendent touted the schools’ higher-than-average school scores on college entrance exams and student tests. President Trump, repeating a campaign phrase, said education is “the civil rights issue of our time.” “It’s why I’ve asked Congress to support a school choice bill. We’ve come a long way, I think. We’re ahead of schedule in so many ways when it comes to education,” the president said. He predicted schools like St. Andrew would have “a fantastic relationship” with the Secretary of Education that would create “a lot of good things for your school and for the entire system.” Bishop Noonan prayed for the president, his family and everyone present. “We pray for this day in dialogue that we may share the good news, and the future of our students,” the bishop said. President Trump thanked the bishop for his “uplifting prayer” and praised the bishop’s support for schools like St. Andrews. The president’s visit drew criticism from some public school advocates like Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who characterized the president’s visit as a continuation of an “ideological crusade.” Weingarten said that many voucher programs do not improve students’ academic outcomes and are not transparent in their spending and teaching

President Donald Trump, right, speaks with fourth graders of St. Andrew School in Orlando during a tour March 3, in which Florida Senator Marco Rubio, left, also participated. The Orlando Diocese invited the president to discuss how the Florida Tax Scholarship program benefits the lives of the students and the community. About 70 percent of St. Andrew’s 343 student population benefit from the scholarship program. Jean Gonzalez, Florida Catholic

policies. Fortier said the diocese’s schools work closely with their public school counterparts. Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor at The Catholic Association, said the president’s visit was appropriate given Catholic schools’ “record of success.” She

said Catholic high school students are twice as likely as public school students to graduate college and their high school education is half the cost of public schools. According to Ferguson, Catholic high schools in inner cities have a 99 percent graduation rate. April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  33

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34  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

Elise Harris


Catholic News Agency

ope Francis said Lent is a time to really contemplate the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us on the Cross, which is more than just a devotional symbol, but an exhortation to imitate the love of Christ. “The Christian Cross is not a furnishing for the house or an ornament to wear, but a call to the love with which Jesus sacrificed himself to save humanity from evil and from sin,” the pope said. As Lent moves forward, he encouraged Christians to “contemplate with devotion” the image of the Jesus crucified on the Cross, which is “the symbol of our Christian faith, it’s the emblem of Jesus, died and risen for us.” “Let us make sure that the Cross marks the stages of our Lenten journey in order to increasingly understand the severity of sin and the value of the sacrifice with which the Redeemer has saved us,” he said. Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square during his Sunday Angelus address on March 12, which he focused on the day’s Gospel passage from Matthew recounting the scene of the Transfiguration. Speaking from the window of the papal apartments in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis noted how in the passage, Matthew points out that Jesus’ face “shown like the sun and his garments became white as light.” The “brightness” that characterizes the Transfiguration, he said, symbolizes the event’s ultimate aim, which is “to illuminate the minds and hearts of the disciples

so that they are able to clearly understand resurrection,” he said, noting that by who their master is.” transfiguring himself, Jesus wanted to “It’s a flash of light that opens unexpect- show his disciples his glory not to help edly the mystery of Jesus and illuminates them avoid the Cross, but to “indicate his entire person and his story,” he said. where the Cross leads.” Since they are already drawing near “Whoever dies with Christ, will rise to Jerusalem, where Jesus will undergo with Christ. Whoever fights together with his violent Passion and death, the Lord him, will triumph with him,” the pope wants to prepare them for “this scandal said. “This is the message of hope that the that’s too strong for their faith and, at the Cross of Jesus contains.” same time, announce his resurrection, Mary, he said, was someone who knew manifesting himself as the Messiah,” the pope said. By revealing himself in the way that he did to Peter, James and John, Jesus shows that he is a Messiah different than what was commonly expected at the time: he is not “a powerful and glorious king, but a humble and disarmed servant; not a gentleman with great wealth, a sign of blessing, but a poor man who has no Pope Francis venerates the cross on Good Friday 2015. place to rest his head; L’Osservatore Romano, Catholic News Agency not a patriarch with numerous descendants, but a homeless bachelor without a nest.” how to contemplate this glory of Jesus that “It’s truly a revelation of God upside was masked by his humanity. He prayed down,” Pope Francis said, explaining, “The that she would help Christians “to be with most disconcerting sign of this scandalous him in silent prayer, to allow ourselves to reversal is the Cross.” be illuminated by his presence, to carry in However, it is precisely through the our heart, through the darkest of nights, Cross that Jesus will achieve “the glorious a reflection of his glory.” April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  35


The Cross is more than jewelry, it is a call to love


Father John H. McKensie is pastor at St. James the Apostle in Refugio.

The Church’s contribution to our having the Bible Father John McKenzie

P Contributor

rior to the invention of the printing press, the process of copying a Bible was time consuming and labor intensive. Bibles were expensive. Usually only a parish church had one. Critics claim that the Church chained the Bible in the church so that the faithful could not read it. The opposite was true, the Bible was chained inside the church so that people could come in and read it, and to keep people from taking it. The process of transcribing the books of the New Testament was similar to the process used to copy the Old Testament. Putting anything in writing was a tedious task. Either animal skins or papyrus was used. The skin of a sheep or goat was called parchment; the skin of a young calf was called vellum. St. Paul speaks about his parchment in 2 Tim 4:13. Papyrus was from the papyrus plant. Slices were taken from the stem and pressed together and dried. It was time-consuming and it became brittle. Ink was a combination of soot, burnt ivory shavings and gum. The tip of the pen was like a needle, and had to be continually dipped into the ink bowl. The transcriber could only write one letter at a time. All who undertook this labor of love are to be commended. Monasteries and convents continued this labor of love in their scriptoriums, which were places for such writing. All of this was done so

36  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

that the faithful could have access to the Bible. Though paper making was invented in China in 105 AD, monasteries and convents continued to used parchment and vellum until the arrival of paper in Europe 900 years later. Critics also claim that clergy during the “Dark Ages” were ignorant of the Bible. That is far from true. The Bible was taught in the seminaries. Reading it was part of religious life. Clergy recited the Bible at length. If you are familiar with an oral exam in college, the evaluation process in the seminary was similar. A candidate for ordination was asked to recite a certain Psalm or other passage of the Bible. They not only knew the Bible; they lived it. Things changed greatly in 1455 when Johann Gutenberg printed—with Church approval— the first Bible in German. Consider this, Martin Luther was born in 1483, 28 years after the first Gutenberg Bible was printed. Two Italian versions were printed in 1471; the first Flemish edition was printed in 1477; and a Spanish Bible was printed in 1478. Eighteen German editions of the Bible appeared before Martin Luther posted his 95 theses, which by the way, was written in Latin and not German. Martin Luther did not give the German people the Bible. The Gutenberg press made the Bible, a gift of the Catholic Church, readily available to Germans—and to many others—in their own language.



CDU Seminar– How are We Saved

Until April 3 Catholic Distance University is offering an online seminar: How Are We Saved? As a subsidy partner, all adults of the Diocese of Corpus Christi are eligible to take any non-credit seminar or independent study course at a discounted tuition rate of $30 each. To register and see a full list of continuing education courses and upcoming seminars, browse our catalog at Use Promo Code 16CORPUSCHRISTI when registering. Independent studies can be taken at any time.

4 25

Bible Study at St. Patrick Church

April 4 and every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Our Lady of Knock Hall (the corner of S. Alameda and Rossiter Street.) For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.

Hour followed 6 Holy by a healing Mass

April 6 and every first Thursday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel Jesus Nazareno in Corpus Christi. Father Angel Montana invites everyone to Holy Hour followed by a Healing Mass.

6 Men’s Spiritual

parish office at (361) 883-2821.

Exercises Retreat

From April 6-9 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). A weekend to go deeper into a relationship with the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Begins Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Register or call (361) 2899095, ext. 321

6 A Catholic Journey of Faith

April 6 from 6:45-9 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Hall (3423 Rojo St). A Catholic faith course with fellowship, praise and worship, bible study and discussions to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There will be a different topic and dynamic speaker each night. Speakers will include SOLT priests Father Sam Medley, Father Jim Kelleher, Father Tony Blunt and other guest priest, religious and laity. Light refreshments will be provided and child care for ages 3-12 years old. For more information contact Dale Pittman (361)949-8332 or the

7 OLPH Annual Fish Fry

April 7, from 3-7 p.m., at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (5830 Williams Drive). For an $8 donation you get either a fish plate which includes: two fish, two hush puppies, French fries and Cole slaw; or a shrimp plate, which includes five shrimp, two hush puppies, French Fries and Cole slaw. There will also be a la carte items: three shrimp for $2 and two crab cakes for $3. Cash, checks, debit and credit cards are accepted. Proceeds benefit the

Liturgical Calendar 1 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 11:18-20/Jn 7:40-53 (249) 2 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Ez 37:12-14/Rom 8:8-11/Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45 (34) Pss I 3 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62/Jn 8:1-11 (251) 4 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Nm 21:4-9/Jn 8:21-30 (252) 5 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Vincent Ferrer, Priest] Dn 3:1420, 91-92, 95/Jn 8:31-42 (253) 6 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Gn 17:3-9/Jn 8:51-59 (254) 7 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest] Jer 20:10-13/Jn 10:31-42 (255) 8 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 37:21-28/Jn 11:45-56 (256) 9 | SUN | PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD | red Mt 21:1-11 (37)/Is 50:4-7/Phil 2:6-11/Mt

26:14—27:66 or 27:11-54 (38) Pss II 10 | Mon | Monday of Holy Week | violet | Is 42:1-7/Jn 12:1-11 (257) 11 | Tue | Tuesday of Holy Week | violet | Is 49:1-6/Jn 13:21-33, 36-38 (258) 12 | Wed | Wednesday of Holy Week | violet | Is 50:4-9a/Mt 26:14-25 (259) 13 | Thu | Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday) | violet/Mass: white Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9/ Rv 1:5-8/Lk 4:16-21 (260) | Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14/1 Cor 11:23-26/Jn 13:1-15 (39) Pss Prop 14 | Fri | Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday) | red Is 52:13—53:12/Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9/Jn 18:1—19:42 (40) Pss Prop 15 | Sat | Holy Saturday | violet/Vigil: white Vigil: Gn 1:1—2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a/ Gn 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/ Ex 14:15—15:1/Is 54:5-14/Is 55:1-11/ Bar 3:9-15, 32—4:4/Ez 36:16-17a, 1828/ Rom 6:3-11/Mt 28:1-10 (41) Pss Prop

16 | SUN | EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9 (42) or Mt 28:1-10 (41) or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Lk 24:1335 (46) Pss Prop

EASTER | white (OR SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY) Acts 2:42-47/1 Pt 1:3-9/Jn 20:19-31 (43) Pss Prop

17 | Mon | Monday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 2:14, 22-33/Mt 28:8-15 (261) Pss Prop

25 | Tue | Saint Mark, Evangelist | red | Feast | 1 Pt 5:5b-14/Mk 16:15-20 (555) Pss Prop

18 | Tue | Tuesday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 2:36-41/Jn 20:11-18 (262) Pss Prop 19 | Wed | Wednesday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 3:1-10/ Lk 24:13-35 (263) Pss Prop 20 | Thu | Thursday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 3:11-26/ Lk 24:35-48 (264) Pss Prop 21 | Fri | Friday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:1-12/Jn 21:1-14 (265) Pss Prop 22 | Sat | Saturday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:13-21/ Mk 16:9-15 (266) Pss Prop 23 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF

24 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ red [Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr] Acts 4:23-31/Jn 3:1-8 (267) Pss II

26 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21 (269) 27 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36 (270) 28 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ red/white [Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest] Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15 (271) 29 | Sat | Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | MemorialActs 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21 (272) 30 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 2:14, 22-33/1 Pt 1:17-21/Lk 24:13-35 (46) Pss III

April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  37


OLPH Academy “Fill Every Desk Campaign,” allowing all children an opportunity to a quality Catholic education.




Ss. Cyril & Methodius Lenten Fish Fry

April 7, from 5-7 p.m., (excluding Good Friday) at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church (S.P.I.D. and Kostoryz). The fish and fries dinner will be hosted by the Knights of Columbus for a $7 donation. Dine in or take it to go.

Diocesan Marriage Preparation

April 8-9, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is a two-day overnight event for the engaged. It is designed to inform couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of Catholic marriage and facilitate couple dialogue on these important issues. For more information go to

Lenten Fish Fry at St. Theresa Parish Hall

April 14, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., at St. Theresa Parish Hall (1302 Lantana Street) in Corpus Christi. A donation of $8 per plate is required. Dine in or take out. For more information call (361) 726-7145.


Divine Mercy Weekend Retreat

From April 20-23 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Gain a deeper understanding of the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus and live reflecting his mercy to others. Begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Vocation Essay Contest 2017

Deadline for the essay entry is April 21. The contest is open to all Catholic students and all students attending a Catholic School in the diocese. Winners will be announced May 7.

38  South Texas Catholic | April 2017

Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church (3210 South Padre Island Drive), a special blessing by Father David Bayardo of religious articles, photos and candles. Refreshments will be served in Msgr. Kasper Youth Center following the service. ​​​​​​​For more information call (361) 510-5754.

Submit essays to Rachel Dimas at or go to for more information.

Talk 21 Schoenstatt on Marriage

Friday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Schoenstatt Movement Center located on 4343 Gaines St. (behind Seaside Cemetery). The talk entitled, “Marriage, A Lifetime Project towards Happiness and Holiness” will be presented by Schoenstatt Father Gerold Langsch. There will be refreshments and confession. A love offering will be accepted for Schoenstatt religious traveling from Austin and Rockport. Call (361) 991-7653 for childcare. For more information call (361) 992-9841 or email

Paul the Apostle 22 St. Ethnic Festival

April 22 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church grounds (2233 Waldron Rd.) in Flour Bluff. Many foods will be available from around the world. There will also be entertainment representing many cultures, car show, raffle, country store, games and auction. Admission to the event is free and fun for the entire family.

Annual Spring 22 5th Fiesta/Trail Ride

April 22, from 12 p.m.-12 a.m., at Immaculate Conception in Concepcion. There will be live music, many kinds of foods and beverages, booths, games, train ride, hay ride and arts and crafts for children. Bring lawn chairs. No coolers on church grounds. Contact Trail Boss Joe Salinas at (361) 537-4149.

23 Divine Mercy Sunday

April 23, from 2-5 p.m. at: St. Joseph Church (100 S. Station Street) in Port Aransas. There will be exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Devotion to the Divine Mercy and reception to follow in the parish hall. For more information call the parish at (361) 749-5825.


St. Theresa Parish 70th Anniversary

April 23 beginning at 10 a.m. All former parishioners and alumni of St. Theresa Parish and School are invited to join us for Mass and lunch. RSVP to (361) 289-2759 by April 10 to receive ticket on time.

28 Weekend Healing Retreat

From April 28-30 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). Begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. ends Sunday at 2 p.m. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of silent reflection asking God to reveal where healing is needed and concludes with a Healing Service. Register at or call (361) 2899095, ext. 321.

Anthony School 29 St.Centennial/

Multi-Class Reunion

April 29 at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tour and carnival at St. Anthony School. Mass will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Church. There will be dinner and social entertainment from 6:30 p.m.-12 a.m. at the High Chaparral Dance Hall on North Highway 77 in Robstown. For more information call Norma Hernandez at (361) 387-3814.

29 Grounded in Truth

April 29 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). An hour of Adoration with praise and worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel from 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas/Bookstore from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.

To see more calendar events go to: Click on Calendar

April 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  39

April 2017 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191

CORPUS CHRISTI CATHEDRAL 505 N. Upper Broadway Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Palm Sunday - April 9 Seder Meal at 1:30 p.m. in St. Joseph Hall. For more information call Orfie Hernandez at (361) 883-4213, Ext. 21. Chrism Mass - April 11 Blessing of the Holy Oils for use during the coming year 7-8 p.m. Holy Thursday - April 13 5 p.m. Confessions 7 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper, transfer of Blessed Sacrament and stripping of the Altar 8-11:45 p.m. Confessions 11:45 p.m. Night Prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Good Friday - April 14 2 p.m. Confessions 3 p.m. Communion Service, Veneration of the Cross and Confessions during the Services 5 p.m. Confessions 6 p.m. Solemn Stations of the Cross and Confessions during the Services Easter Services Saturday, April 15 8 p.m. Easter Vigil and reception of Candidates and Catechumens Easter Sunday - April 16 Easter Sunday Masses 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 11 a.m. (En español)

April 2017 - Vol.52 No.4  

In our April issue, we take a look at the use of Chromebooks in the classroom at Sacred Heart School in Rockport. The use of tablets is beco...

April 2017 - Vol.52 No.4  

In our April issue, we take a look at the use of Chromebooks in the classroom at Sacred Heart School in Rockport. The use of tablets is beco...